DUI Test Refusal in Pennsylvania
Contact Regan Law Firm in Allentown
Pennsylvania is an implied consent state, which means by simply driving a motor vehicle you give consent to submit to a chemical breath test. The refusal to submit to a chemical test may result in both criminal prosecution and a separate license suspension from PennDOT. A driver convicted of refusing to submit to a chemical test or blood test, subject to a search warrant, will be sentenced as if convicted of having a BAC above .16.
What does this mean for you?
A first offense refusal is an ungraded misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of six months in jail. The mandatory punishment for a first offense refusal includes the suspension of driver's license for 12 months, a mandatory 72 hours in jail, and a $1000 fine.
A second offense DUI refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to five years in jail. The mandatory punishment for a second offense DUI refusal includes the suspension of driver's license for 18 months, a mandatory 90 days in jail, and a $1500 fine.
A third offense DUI refusal is a felony of the 3rd degree with mandatory punishment that includes a suspension of driver’s license for 18 months, a mandatory one year in jail, and a mandatory $2500 fine.
Are There Any Additional Penalties in Pennsylvania?
In addition to the above punishment, refusing to submit to a chemical breath or blood test will result in an additional license suspension from PennDOT. The additional license suspension is 12 months, unless the driver has a previous DUI conviction, then the additional license suspension is 18 months. A driver may appeal PennDOT s license suspension to the local court of common pleas. PennDOT will then have to provide the court with sufficient evidence to support the refusal determination.
How Our Approach to DUI Refusal Defense Can Help You
There are several defenses your DUI lawyers should discuss when preparing your refusal case for trial:
- Perhaps the officer stopped the vehicle without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
- A DL-26 form is provided to the driver prior to submitting to a chemical test.
- The driver must be provided with an opportunity to review the form and sign it.
- The driver may not have been informed of the implied consent law or provided with the DL-26 form.
- If unable to provide an adequate breath sample, an officer may deem this to be a refusal, subject to a judge or jury s ultimate conclusion. This issue is very fact-specific and may require the lawyer to subpoena any video or audio of the chemical test being performed.
These are just several of the more common issues that may arise in a DUI refusal case. An attorney should discuss these, and any other relevant issues, with the defendant when deciding to take the case to trial or enter into pleas negotiations. Depending on the driver's criminal history, he or she may be eligible for the ARD program.
How Can the ARD Program Benefit You?
If accepted into ARD, the driver would not go to jail. However, driving privileges would still be suspended for a total of 14 months (60 days by the ARD program, one year by PennDOT). Another benefit to the ARD program is that upon its successful completion the driver may petition the court to expunge all government records of the DUI arrest. You can find out more about ARD on our DUI FAQ.
Contact an Experienced Allentown DUI Attorney Today!
To speak with a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer with years of experience representing DUI clients, contact Regan Law Firm online or at (484) 498-6334. Your initial consultation is free of charge. We have over 10 years of experience helping people accused of serious crimes, including DUI-related offenses, and are here to help you.
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